First SiebenCarey Distracted Driving Scholarship Awarded
For the last 8 years I’ve been actively involved with the EndDD.org Distracted Driving Student Awareness Initiative. Each semester I reach out to students at both Lakeville high schools and talk about the importance of distracted driving avoidance.
This year we expanded our efforts and awarded a $1,000 scholarship to a student at Lakeville North High School and a student at Lakeville South High School. The requirement was to write a 500-word essay on distracted driving. Our hope was to get many students to apply which, in turn, provides an excellent awareness exercise.
We were overwhelmed by the number of applicants and amazed at the insight the students provided. It was encouraging to see progress concerning the attitude toward distracted driving.
This year’s SiebenCarey Distracted Driving Awareness Scholarship at Lakeville North was awarded to Jagear Sederberg. With Jagear’s permission we are providing his winning essay for others to read. Congratulations Jagear and nice work by all the applicants.
Distracted Driving – By Jagear Sederberg
Distracted driving is one of the deadliest things you can be doing on any given day and you may not even realize it. In all reality, we all do it, even taking our eyes off the road to change the radio station, to reading a book, I have seen this! Driving a car is as dangerous as walking around with a loaded gun; one wrong move and lives can be changed forever.
We all know the risks of distracted driving but we think, “This will never happen to me I know what I’m doing,” or “I’ve been driving for long enough to know the limits.” The truth is we will never be skilled enough and we haven’t been doing this for a long enough time. Even if you have been driving for a very long time and think you are good enough, your eyes should always be on the road and on your surroundings. The first car was made in 1855, we have only been driving cars for 132 years and cars keep changing and becoming more advanced. The roads are becoming more crowded and complex. It is more important than ever for drivers and passengers to keep their eyes on the road.
My family has also lost a loved one due to distracted driving. My great grandma was killed in a car accident when my mom was pregnant with me. I was told that she was so excited to hold me and she knew that I was going to be a boy. She was the best baker in town, she was known for her banana bread and cinnamon rolls. I know she touched so many lives and was always there for those that needed her. I would have loved to know her. I only wish the three teens in the car that T-boned her would have realized how their actions would affect our family for generations to come.
Our community has lost many teens over the years and it is heartbreaking. I feel many of them could have been prevented. Teens will always goof around but it should never involve motor vehicles. Laws are put into place to prevent these tragic accidents. I keep a picture of a fellow classmate that I went to school with at Kenwood on my visor to remind me of the responsibility I have as a driver. It is never easy to look at the picture.
As road crash statistics state, “Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled. More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44.”
The numbers should never be this high. These facts show that we are not doing enough to stop distracted driving and how deadly it can be. This is why we should focus on driving instead of what song is on the radio, goofing around with your friends in the car or what text your friend just sent. With all the technology and cell phones, we have lost track of the responsibility that comes along with driving. I am personally hoping that the state of Minnesota goes hands free. We need to make our radio choice and phone calls before we get on the road and check our phones once we get to our destination. Everything else can wait, life is too precious.